Surrogate Mother Requirements in Canada

Do you meet the Canadian requirements for becoming a surrogate mother? Read about the necessary surrogate qualifications in Canada, and see whether you’re eligible.

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Surrogacy Requirements in Canada

Are you considering surrogacy or becoming a surrogate mother yourself? Whether you’re an intended parent or a potential surrogate mother, it’s important to be informed. Every country has its own specific rules and requirements for becoming a surrogate mother. At Extraordinary Conceptions, we operate across North America. In Canada, we have a dedicated Toronto site for our surrogates, intended parents, and egg donors. We’re experts on surrogacy requirements in Canada and are here to answer all of your questions.

Before getting into the qualifications to become a surrogate mother in Canada, it’s important to grasp the country’s laws regarding surrogacy. While it is legal, only altruistic surrogacy is allowed in Canada. In other words, legally, a surrogate gives a gift, rather than providing a service, to the intended parents. Because of this, surrogates cannot receive compensation. However, surrogates will not pay a dime since all medical costs will be covered. Furthermore, surrogates receive reimbursement on pregnancy-related expenses (like related travel, maternity clothes, and more) for the incredible gift they are giving another family. Depending on the surrogate’s unique circumstances, she will be reimbursed up to $2,500 monthly.

Qualifications to Become a Surrogate Mother in Canada

At Extraordinary Conceptions, we have a thorough list of requirements for becoming a surrogate mother. These necessary qualifications were determined by both local laws and our own extensive history with surrogacy and family-building. Having these qualifying requirements in place allows for all to have the safest and smoothest experience for everybody involved.

The qualifications to become a surrogate mother require all eligible candidates to:

  • Want to give a beautiful gift to another family

  • Be between the ages of 21 and 45

  • Be a mother herself. All eligible candidates have given birth previously and still live with their child(ren.) Women who have had over five C-section births or more are not eligible

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident

  • Have no history of pregnancy complications

  • Have a BMI (Body Mass Index) count of 35 or below

  • Be in good physical health, with no chronic medical conditions

  • Be a nonsmoker

  • Have no history of illicit drug use or alcohol dependence

  • Have a driving licence or access to reliable transportation

  • Be financially stable, with proof of income

  • Have a clean record, with no previous indictable offences. This rule also applies to any other adult in your household, like your spouse

  • Be in good mental health. Candidates with a history of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, or major depressive disorder are unfortunately not eligible to be surrogates

  • Not currently taking medication deemed unsafe for pregnancy— this includes medication for mental health issues like anxiety or depression. If you have the ability to safely wean from the medication, you may still be eligible

If you don’t meet all of these surrogate mother qualifications, but still believe you would make a great surrogate, please get in touch with us. There’s a chance we can work something out.

Why Choose Extraordinary Conceptions for Your Surrogacy Journey?

At Extraordinary Conceptions, we’ve been helping intended parents and surrogates through their exciting journey for nearly two decades. Since opening our doors in San Diego in 2005, we’ve watched hundreds of children grow up and eventually pioneered our second agency location in Toronto to reach more families across the continent. Our experience and knowledge are strengthened by our teams’ own lived experience with assisted conception.

We understand, on a personal and professional level, how much support our surrogates and intended parents need. That’s why we provide access to as many services as possible, like high quality legal and medical referrals. We’ve also taken care to employ a team who understands this personally and can support you during this journey. Our staff includes previous IVF nurses, experienced surrogate mothers  and egg donors.

Here at Extraordinary Conceptions, we believe in a “hands-on” approach. That means you’ll always have a point of contact during your journey, even before you’ve officially been “matched.” In fact, once a potential surrogate’s profile has been approved, she’ll immediately be assigned a dedicated Surrogacy Coordinator, who will facilitate matching with parents and offer support. In the meantime, if you have any questions, you can always send us an email.

FAQs About Surrogate Mother Qualifications

If you have any questions about surrogate mother qualifications in Canada, we might already have them answered for you here. If you don’t see your question addressed here, get in touch with us!

Why the BMI Rules?

Many countries have firm rules in place about BMI and surrogacy, and Canada is no exception. Here, eligible surrogates must have a BMI of 35 or below. This is a more flexible number than other nearby countries, like the USA and Mexico, which cap at 32 and 27, respectively.

The reason for rules surrounding BMI is to avoid complications and serves as a protection for all parties: the surrogate, intended parents, and coming baby. Some studies have shown that women with a higher BMI have a higher chance of developing gestational diabetes, as well as preeclampsia. These conditions can be harmful to both the surrogate and the coming baby.

Can I Still be a Surrogate if My BMI is Over 35?

Yes, potentially. Granted you meet all the other requirements, you may be able to be a surrogate if you are able to bring your Body Mass Index levels down to 35 or lower.

How Do I Prove I am Physically and Mentally Healthy?

In order to be a surrogate, candidates need to prove they are very healthy, both mentally and physically. Like with the BMI rule, this regulation protects all parties: the surrogate, intended parents, and coming baby. To prove that they are in good shape, both physically and mentally, potential surrogates will undergo an extensive screening and testing process. This process takes place after she has been matched with a family.

This step of the surrogacy process will involve both a psychological evaluation by a Licensed Family and Marriage Therapist (LFMT), as well as medical testing at an IVF clinic. Typically, the medical side of the screening process will involve bloodwork, a full physical, and other tests deemed necessary by the doctor. Once a surrogate has been cleared by both her LFMT and IVF doctor, the writing of the surrogacy agreement and other important arrangements can commence.

We’re Here to Support You

If you meet the qualifications to become a surrogate mother, we want to hear from you! Get in touch with our team whenever you’re ready. We’re here to answer all of your questions and help you navigate this exciting process. We’re honoured to be a part of your surrogacy journey and look forward to meeting you.

Our Canadian team can be reached at (760) 438-2265 or via text (760) 292-2250 to set up your pre-screening appointment or answer any questions you may have. You can also email [email protected].